Polk teachers chosen to join study visit to India
As part of a newly formed and ongoing Global Engagement Initiative, four Polk County Schools teachers will participate in an international study visit to India from April 1-10.
Jeanne Burgin from Polk County Middle, Donna Hall from Tryon Elementary, Shea White from Tryon Elementary and Sergey Zalevskiy from Polk County High applied and were chosen to participate in the India study visit that is being described by system administrators as a unique and challenging professional development opportunity. It will be the first of several international study exchanges that the Polk educators will participate in as part of a partnership with Rutherford County Schools and Isothermal Community College as well as with World View at the University of North Carolina and The North Carolina Center for South Asian Studies (NCCSAS) at Duke University.
The goal of the study visit is to help educators become leaders for global education by looking beyond the borders of North Carolina and experiencing a culture, country, and people different from their own. The educators will learn more about Indias education system while exploring significant cultural and historical sites.
The trip will involve 11 educators from Polk and Rutherford County Schools and Isothermal Community College. Polk and Rutherford will each have four representatives and ICC will have three to participate in the trip that is being sponsored by The North Carolina Center for South Asian Studies (NCCSAS) at Duke University.
The NCCSAS is a consortium made up of Duke, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The consortium promotes education and research across the disciplines, drawing on faculty who have a focus on South Asia in fields as diverse as anthropology, religious studies, and history, to business, global health, and policy studies. The organization works to raise awareness of the region across the consortium campuses and in the community at large.
World View was established in 1998 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to help K-12 and college educators anticipate and respond to the challenges of a smaller, more interconnected world.
To prepare for the study visit, participants will attend one and one half day workshop on South Asia at Duke University in February. Following the study visit, participants will come back together for a follow-up workshop to debrief and reflect on the experience.
Polks recent system-wide staff development day featured World View Associate Director Neil Bolick who gave an introductory and training session about globalization and how it affects the economy and how this will change how educators are preparing students for their future.
Bolick has a B.A. in English from UNC at Chapel Hill and holds a Ph.D. in Chinese Language and Literature from Indiana University. He has taught English language and literature in Taiwan, Chinese literature in the US, and ran a consulting firm for international business. He lived in Taiwan and China for five years as a student, teacher, and Fulbright scholar. As an international business consultant he traveled regularly to Asia, South America, and Europe.
Polk County Schools has developed partnerships with World View and other globally centered education groups in an effort to embrace and better understand other cultures, global issues and how to prepare their students for a new global economy.